Work and Family

Topics: Family, Minnesota, Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 Pages: 10 (2285 words) Published: July 27, 2014

Research Paper

A survey by Yale University states that “29% of workers report they are often or very often burned out or stressed by their work” ("CDC - NIOSH Publications and Products - STRESS...At Work (99-101)", n.d., p. 8). This workplace stress can many times lead to an imbalance between work and family. When measures are taken to attempt to reduce this stress there is a great potential for happier and more satisfied employees, leading to more efficiency in both the workplace and in the home. There are numerous programs already in place by organizations to help balance work and family for employees nationwide and at the state level. Many local businesses in central Minnesota, that are well known to local residents, also have programs in place to help balance family and work, leading to a reduction in stress and happier lives for their employees. As stated by Society for Human Resource Management, the presence of work-family programs in businesses and corporations leads to improved performance and attitudes, as well as a decrease in work-family conflict (2012). Meta-analysis is “a quantitative statistical analysis of several separate but similar experiments or studies in order to test the pooled data for statistical significance” ("Meta-analysis - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary", n.d., p. 8). This method of analysis has proved that work-family programs were shown to have positive effects in the lives of the employees. The positive result of these programs can be attributed to the support and assistance that they offer. It is important for companies to establish these programs, both for the reduction of stress and wellbeing of their employees and for the overall success of the business. Research says that “conflict between work and family roles was found to lower the perceived quality of both work and family life which, in turn, influences organization outcomes such as productivity, absenteeism and turnover” (American Psychological Association Practice Organization, 2010, p. 8). Thus, work-family programs, that successfully reduce this conflict, are beneficial to both the employer and the employee. Work-family programs are effective because they balance work responsibilities and home life, which studies have shown to increase productivity, morale, and working relationships as well as decreasing stress and reducing absenteeism, among other things ("Workplace Wellness, Workplaces That Work, HR Toolkit,", n.d., p. 8). With the reduction of stress, individuals are able to not only be more effective in both aspects of their lives, but they also receive many other physical and emotional benefits. According to The Institute of HeartMath, benefits of stress reduction include: more energy, less irritability, improved health and well-being, improved memory, and joyful feelings such as love, kindness and appreciation (2014). Work-family programs are able to instil these health and well-being benefits as well as improving the efficiency of employees in the workplace. There are many of these effective work-family programs, along with other benefits and regulations, which are in place nationwide and within the state of Minnesota. The United States Department of Labor enforces several regulations that help to balance work and family life. One such regulation is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This regulation ensures that employees who have been employed for a minimum of one year will be given up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical reasons including birth of a child, care for an immediate family member, or medical leave for their own serious health issues ("U.S. Department of Labor - Find It By Topic - Leave Benefits - FMLA", n.d., p. 8). It is stated directly on the US Department of Labor website that “FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain...
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